Manchester United vs Brighton and Hove Albion: Potential XI with Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United’s second half capitulation against FC Basel on Wednesday night demonstrated in painful fashion the dearth of capable full-backs at Jose Mourinho‘s disposal.

Matteo Darmian‘s poor discipline led to the home side winning a succession of free-kicks during the latter stages and gaining momentum as a result, while Daley Blind‘s lack of pace and awareness eventually allowed Michael Lang to steal a late winner.

Needless to say, Mourinho will want to see a more commanding, energetic display from his full-backs against a Brighton side that will try and minimise the space between their defence and midfield.

And with that in mind, here is a potential XI for the clash with Chris Hughton’s men on Saturday featuring Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young.

Supporters will be glad to see Mourinho’s strongest full-back combination return to the starting XI after receiving a rest during the week.

But perhaps their presence on the pitch on Saturday will take on a different, perhaps didactic meaning following the horror show in Switzerland.

After all, the notion that Mourinho’s best full-backs are not, by trade, actual full-backs should provide cause for concern, and perhaps incentive to invest in that area over the January transfer window. Two 32-year-old former wingers are simply not the answer at this level.

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